Beyond the Commission Reports

The Coming Crisis in Teaching

by Linda Darling-Hammond

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This report treats the current status of the teaching profession at a time when renewed efforts to improve the quality of American education are occurring at the federal, state, and local levels. The report demonstrates that dramatic changes in our nation's teaching force will soon lead to serious shortages of qualified teachers unless policies that restructure the teaching profession are pursued. The report analyzes recent data indicating changes in the recruitment and retention patterns of the American teaching force, in the quality of teachers, and in the attractiveness of teaching as a profession. The author concludes that if we are serious about improving the quality of education, we will have to make more than marginal changes in the attractiveness of the teaching profession. The search for excellence as it is being conducted in most states will not solve the problem. Fundamental reform of the teaching profession will be required.

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